SELBY Abbey has received more than £30,000 to help recover from the loss of income over the pandemic - and can now bring staff back to work.

A £32,300 National Lottery Heritage Fund has been to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on heritage site and in the local community.

Selby Abbey was closed for three months with the majority of its activities being postponed.

Since the middle of June, the abbey has been gradually reopening and resuming some aspects of its welcome to visitors from the local area and further afield, as well as its worship.

But other activities, opportunities, tours, concerts and events, however, are still curtailed by the demands of social distancing measures, hygiene requirements and other Covid-19 related precautions, and many do not look likely to return for the next six months at least.

John Weetman, the vicar at Selby Abbey, said: “Thanks to the National Lottery and its

players, we can now afford to bring more of our staff back to work and continue to employ

them after the ‘furlough scheme’ has ended.

“We will be able to train new volunteers and

develop our range of opportunities for people to engage with the heritage of Selby Abbey.

“This will ensure that our UK visitors and foreign tourists will be better able to appreciate and enjoy

all that the abbey has to offer when it is safe to do so.

“Also, we will also continue our partnership with the Local Authority, local businesses and community groups to help the visitor economy of Selby as a whole to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

“We’re grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.”

The funding was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund.

It's part of an overall total of Lottery £50million that has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need.